15 April 2012

La Folia

I learned from at least John Dewey that dualisms are almost always false. Today’s Suzuki recital focused me on endings that are almost always paired with beginnings. Today was Corelli’s “La Folia,” Telemann’s “Canonic Sonata for two Violins,” and Accolay’s “Concerto #1;” then it was “Twinkle, Twinkle” in a series of rhythmic variations. Then it was a ¼ size violin that produced a quarter sized scratchy sound, and now it was a full sized violin with a rich, graceful sound. Then it was a single minute performance, and now it was a full twenty minutes of solo and duet playing.
But those are expressed dualisms, and it behooves me to understand those events as points on a continuum and not as single, isolated moments of beginnings and endings. I can often hear the Twinkles in the Accolay, and I can see the six year old learning to hold the violin in the poised pose of the performing eighteen year old. And sometimes when I look at it right, I can even see the twenty-five year old.
It is not that I regret that this run of recitals is at an end, not even that the sound of someone practicing the violin will leave the house. I will not miss the music stands left in the middle of the living room where I inevitably trip over them in my own wanderings. It will be pleasant to see the coffee table again from underneath the music scores. And sharps and flats will no longer keep me from my slumber. It is not endings that I experience now but finishings; perhaps these two seeming synonyms are not synonymous after all. Endings seem to me akin to Hamlet’s “No more.” There is nothing after the end. But finishings are more like a pause, a musical caesura, a rest after which things (whatever they be) will begin again. I am anxious in both meanings of the word: worried for her future (it is the worst of times) and thrilled to see her move toward it (it is the best of times). As I write now I hear still the double stops she played at the end of “La Folia:” they were full, strong, loud and finished. In some very recent time she defined herself by this piece, and perhaps she played it today as if she were it. Certainly she filled those concluding double stops.
I am not sure when I’ll hear her “La Folia” again, but in the morning I will greet it as usual.    


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